Caramel Custard Pudding / 焦糖布丁

Caramel-Custard Pudding

A popular Japanese-style pudding, so smooth and creamy. I first tasted this pudding few months ago, T brought back some from Japan. Obviously, it is one of T's favourite desserts. Other Japanese desserts he likes including green tea mochi with red bean filling, you kann, and egg shape sponge cake with sesame paste filling. Now, they are all my favourite too. J loves some of those as well, he has tasted custard pudding and egg shape sponge cake so far. I fed him some pudding in the evening, he cried for more!

This custard pudding is so easy to make, with simple ingredients that are always available in the pantry. If you don't have a steamer, you can steam it in the oven using water bath method.

Ingredients (makes 6):

40g sugar
10ml hot water

200ml fresh milk
10g sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
1 whole egg
2 egg yolks
30g sugar

Methods: Please refer to step-by-step pictorial guide here. (updated on 15 Sep 2010)

  1. Caramel: Melt the sugar in a sauce pan, stir until golden brown. Once it starts bubbling, stir in hot water then remove from heat.
  2. Lightly grease the moulds, then fill each mould with about 1 teaspoon of caramel. Swirl the mould to coat bottom of mould when the caramel is still hot. Set aside for later use.
  3. Custard: Bring together milk and sugar, bring to a boil on low heat then stir in vanilla essence. Turn the heat off and set aside for later use.
  4. In a mixing bowl, lightly whisk the eggs with sugar. Then pour in the milk in stream, whisk rapidly until well blended.
  5. Strain the mixture then fill each mould with the mixture. Steam on low heat for 15-20 minutes. If using oven, place the moulds in a tray then fill tray with water. Cover the tray with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated oven, 140ºC for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Turn the heat off, let puddings stay in the steamer or oven for further 10 minutes.
  7. Chill and serve.


To produce smooth texture custard, the mixture must be strained to remove air bubbles then pour into mould gently. And, the steamer should not be too hot.

* * *

Double Rainbow

Double rainbows before storm hit Penang Island.


  1. Ahh. this is like creme caramel - the french dessert.. I absolutely love this.. I love the caramel... yumm...

  2. Did you make your own caramel or is it ready made?

  3. Lucky, 2 rainbows! This means Penang is quite clean. I saw 3 rainbows in Norway as well.

  4. Leemei,
    I think lots of Japanese desserts are adapted from French. This is a really simple and yummy dessert, would make it for party soon.

    I made my own caramel, it is easy to make and only small amount is needed.

    Wow... 3 rainbows!

  5. Hi, I want to try out this out it looks great but what do you mean specifically when you say mold like do I have to put it in a special container or will a plastic cup work?

  6. Diane,

    Sorry for the confusion. Please use tart mould, or any moulds that can be used in the oven. I used aluminium tart mould like this one >>

  7. This recipe caught my eyes because I have all the ingredients in my pantry, so all I have to do is to take it out and make it. Wish my friend can find me Pooh face cake mould in Japan, would love to try it out

  8. chumpman,
    It was easy to make and soooo refreshing. Do make it a day before, it tastes better the next day.

  9. This is really popular in Japan (and is called "purin"), but it's not Japanese. It's one of the many things Japanese people have adopted from European cuisine with nary an alteration of the original. A lot of their desserts are from the French, Germans, and Portuguese.

    Only the desserts made with beans, rice, and yams are original Japanese cuisine. The Japanese didn't even use milk as part of their cuisine until outsiders came along.

  10. Orchid64,

    Thanks for dropped by and info. I have tried only Japanese version pudding, kasutera, etc... would love to taste the real ones. Do you have original recipes for those? TIA.

  11. this recipe is so much better compared to the other hispanic recipes i's not as sweet which is great! i have a question Lydia, do you happen to know what i should add to the flan to make the texture smoother?

  12. missj0dy,

    Thanks for your compliments. You can try to substitute milk with fresh cream (whipping cream) for creamier and smoother texture.

    If you encountered air bubbles in the flan, try to reduce the oven temp.

  13. thanks lydia! i was also wondering if you know the recipe to the refrigerated egg pudding, the one that does not require baking, shall i just warm up the ingredients to your current recipe, sprinkle some knox gelatin and frigde it?

  14. missjody,
    Sorry, I have not tried any refrigerator pudding. I think you can add gelatin to this recipe, but the texture will be different.

  15. I love this! Really want to make this. But i only have glass cups.. can i use those?

  16. Siying,
    Not sure what type of glass cups you have. If they are pyrex or oven proof, you can use them.

    If you dont mind the shape, small rice bowl also alright to use.

  17. do you sift the mixture? i don't understand that part..oh and what do your steamer look like?

  18. Perhaps I should say strain the mixture. As for steamer, this one is steamed in the oven. For other stuff, I usuall used either rice cooker or wok with steamer rack.

  19. Hi, is the sugar normal sugar or brown sugar? Thanks!

  20. It is white sugar, after cooking will turn into caramel.

  21. Thank you for the recipes! It looks delicious, but im just wondering,
    How many servings is this ?

  22. Hi Anonymous,
    As stated in my recipe, it makes 6. However, it's depends on the size of the ramekin/mould you are using.

  23. :-\ I admit that the custard looks amazingly delicious, but I don't really like the fact that it says traditional Japanese. Mostly because it's an ordinary custard with typical ingredients used in French Custard, Puerto Rican Flan (also known as Puerto Rican Custard), Spanish Custard, American Custards (the basic milk based custard), and quite a few other international ones. It's a bit misleading.

  24. Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks for your comment, I really appreciate it.

    I am sorry that my poor English has caused some misunderstandings here. What I meant with "Japanese-style" is that the original recipe is altered to suit Japanese tastebuds. Another example is kasutera (castella) cake, it is Japanese-style sponge cake but it is not originated from Japan.

    Hope this will clear the could.


  25. Hi. I'd really like to try making this but could you maybe convert the grams to something I can measure easier? like cups and stuff?

  26. Hi,

    I have tried to make this.. but it does not works... are you able to give some advice??

    Did i make wrong some where?

    1) Is the sugar too much? when i try to do it was too sweet..

    2) The sugar does not turn light brown.. with low heat.. when i wait for it to turn light brown it will over cooked and has become a thick sugar and i will need to re-do again..

    3) The custard got alots of hole inbetween.. how come there is hole when i saw your picture there isn't any.

    Please advise..



  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. Anonymous,
    You can covert the measurement online, I use this sometimes >>


    Hi Vivian,

    If you think it is too sweet for you, reduce the amount of sugar next time. By the way, the caramel will not be as sweet as sugar and will have bit of bitter taste in it. After steamed with custard, will taste good.

    I am not sure what you meant by "thick sugar", was it all stick together before turning brown? If so you need to cook longer, until it is dissolved. Perhaps next time you can try to cook it with water, and cook until browned.

    As for the holes problem, it is because of the high heat. Steaming this custard need very low heat. Lower the oven temp next time. The end result using different oven may vary.

    All the best!

  29. Hi. Is it essential to cover the tray with aluminium foil? Do you mean by wrapping the tray with aluminium foil followed by filling it with water?

  30. I think it is essential to cover for the steaming effect.

  31. Hi Lydia,
    I encountered the same problem as Vivian.

    The caramel crystalized after I poured hot water in or after I scooped it into the remekins( I throwed away 2 batches actually as it became 麦芽糖 before I get the chance to scoop it into the remekins)

    I was not able to swirl it and coat the remekins a thin layer of caramel.

    My caramel pudding turned out with many holes on the surface (before I turn it out) and too thin ( I should look for a much smaller container).

    The caramel layer also came in patches as I was not able to coat an even layer of caramel at the first place.

    I want to try again as my kids love this.

    How to ensure I can cook a nice caramel layer as yours?


  32. Hi XiQi,

    I have no idea why the caramel crystalized.Perhaps you can try mixing the water with sugar before cooking as I suggested to Vivian.

    I think I should make this pudding again to refresh the steps and hopefully I can provide some useful tips then. My hb & boy love this very much, they will be happy. lol

    Thanks for your comment and stay tuned.

  33. Thanks Lydia and I look forward to hear from you soon.


  34. Hi, is there other method other than steam and oven? Can i boil it then pour it into the mould?

  35. C,
    This pudding use only egg as setting agent, it will turn hard (cook) if using boiling method and would be able to pour. Also, with boiling method the egg and milk will be separated.

  36. Is the pudding supposed to taste like egg? Because every time I make it, no matter how long I cook it, I can still taste the egg.

  37. thanks for sharing this delightful caramel custard pudding. i'll try this as soon as i get home. can't wait to have some..

  38. pausexrewind,
    Yes, this pudding supposed to taste like egg as it is made with real egg.

    You are welcome. Happy making! Btw, you are invite to post a photo of your craetion (if any) on My Kitchen Facebook page.

  39. im 10 years old and i made it it was perfect

  40. hi Lydia, one question on using the steamer. You mentioned using low heat. If my steamer rack has three layers, do you mean i need to put it on the highest rack?

  41. Anonymous,
    Wow! I can see a chef in making. Glad that you made it.

    Well, I have never used a 3 layers steamer so I cant tell you which layer to use. For this pudding, you need low heat (slow steaming). Otherwise it will ended up with lots of holes in the pudding.

  42. Thanks for the recipe! I've been wanting to know how to make it for ages. This is the perfect opportunity to get higher grades in Cooking at school! Thanks again, cheerio!

  43. Anonymous. The caramel, if too sweet, needs to be a nice "amber" colour to be the right taste.

  44. i've tried making my own caramel pudding for the first time but it doesn't turn out well

    1) my caramelized sugar taste bitter
    2) texture of the pudding is not as soft

    what are the cause of these? and how to prevent it?

    thank you.

  45. Anonymous,
    1)caramel has hint of bitterness, but should not be too bitter.
    2) Try to use smaller egg or reduce amount of egg for softer texture.

  46. My mother makes an amazing flan. It's a Portuguese recipe though and all it is is condensed milk and eggs. (and of course the sugar for caramelization). Comes out nice and smooth!

  47. This is one yummy flan! I want to make one right now! I hope mine will come out like that!

  48. Hi Lydia

    i made this today & it was great! tks for sharing the step-by-step pic. they really helped. since i didnt want to leave any egg whites lying around, i used 2 eggs instead.

  49. Hi Lydia,

    I plan to make this purin. I have some questions (which I hope they don't look silly >__<):

    1. Can we use parchment paper to cover the tray instead of aluminium foil?
    2. When filling the tray with water, is the water cold, hot or warm?
    3. Can we bake the purin without using tray filled with water? (since I wonder whether I can use my cupcake tray as moulds)
    4. Can I use stainless steel bowls as moulds to bake the purin?

    Sorry if I ask too much. I really want to make this for Christmas.. Thank you :D

  50. Hi Xan,
    Thanks for your feedback and glad that yours turned out great.

    Hi Jessica,
    Well, it would be silly if keeping all questions unanswered. Answer to your questions:
    1) I thin if you can cover the tray nicely with parchment papaer should be okay to use it. Cover to create steaming effect inside.
    2) I used room-temp water.
    3) This water bath method helps in heating the pudding gradually. If without water, the pudding might not turn out smooth cos of rapid heating. Cooking custard need low and steady temp.
    4) Yes, you can use stainless steel bowls.

    If you are concerning about the aluminium foil and water bath, why not try steaming method?


  51. yummy! really mouth watering. i love to eat this. :)

  52. So pleasing to the eyes and definitely pleasing to taste. Love it!

  53. hi, thanks for the recipe, but can i not add in vanilla essence?

  54. great blog. thanks for sharing this yummy recipe. :D

  55. Anonymous,
    Yes, you can omit vanilla essence if you wish.

    Thanks for your compliments.

  56. If I choose to steam, do I have to cover with the aluminum foil too?

  57. Esya,
    No, you don't have to.

  58. If i steam it, do i have to bake it?

  59. hi...great recipe..i have aproblem.i donta have an oven or steamer.can i use my fry pan and an aluminium pot as mould..i eamn put water in fry pan and place aluminium pot as mould?do i have to cover both aluminium pot and the fry pan?? and how long this might take??pls help.thanx.

  60. Hi Tanjinanoor,

    Creative idea you have there. I think you need to cover both pan (leave a small gap if the heat it too strong) and pot(to prevent water dripping in) lid. As for the cooking time, I am not sure as I never used this method before. From my experience of cooking chinese and Japanense custard dish using wok + steaming rack, the steaming temperature must be very low.

    All the best!

  61. Hi. I was wondering if it really tastes like egg. My friend and I made ours separately and both turned out fine. But we felt like something was wrong since we can clearly taste the egg (like egg pie). We're used to the Filipino-style pudding called Leche Flan.

  62. Hi im going to try to make this but i dont have any moulds but i have this plastic cup thingy that i got from that is from INSTANT custard where you just flip it over put it on a plate and then you can just eat it can i use the plastic cup instead? would the plastic melt???? or is there anything else i can use??

  63. Sorry, no plastic cups they will melt. You can use pyrex or ceramic bowls.

  64. I usually use 2 eggs and 1 yolk. In your recipe you use 1 egg and 2 yolk. Do you know what is the different?

  65. Hi Ayu,

    You: 2 egg whites, 3 egg yolks
    Me: 1 egg white, 3 egg yolks

    I guess the pudding you made will have slightly firmer texture than mine as it contained more egg white, assuming all other ingredients are the same.

  66. Hi Lydia,

    Do you unmould first, then chill, or chill until the next day then unmould and serve?

    Thank you.

  67. Chill first, invert just before serving.

  68. This looks amazing! When I was little I remember waiting for our instant pudding to be finished. This looks like an adult version I'll have to try soon!

  69. I have never made chocolate pudding, but this looks really delicious. I am surprised it is so quick to make.


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